Green Bay Packers: Best Replacements for Departed Coaches
After going 15-1, the Packers will likely lose many of the coaches that helped get them to their league-best record.
In fact, they've already lost Joe Philbin, the offensive coordinator for the Packers, who took a head coaching job in Miami, and are expected to lose several other of their coaches, especially on the offensive side of the ball, which was tops in the league this year.
From offensive coordinator to quarterbacks coach to maybe even a defensive coaching position or two, the Packers will have to fill some holes in the coaching staff during the offseason.
Here are some of the best replacements for some of the coaching vacancies who could prop up for the Packers during this offseason.
Offensive Coordinator: Edgar Bennett
Edgar Bennett has already moved up in the ranks with the Packers, moving from running backs coach to wide receivers coach last year.
After a successful year along with his receivers, Edgar Bennett would make a perfect offensive coordinator for the Packers, as he has experience in the system, both as a coach and as a player, as he was a running back for the Packers back when they won Super Bowl XXXI.
Bennett easily made the transition from one coaching job for the Packers to another this year. He has served the Packers quite well so far, so a promotion wouldn't be out of the question. Of course, his promotion would leave a vacancy for the wide receiving coaching position, which I will get to next.
Wide Receivers Coach: Ben McAdoo
Currently the tight ends coach, McAdoo could make the transition to wide receivers coach fairly easily.
He has done a great job developing Jermichael Finley, and even some of their backup tight ends including Andrew Quarless, Tom Crabtree, and Ryan Taylor.
All of McAdoo's tight ends have worked well as receivers, so McAdoo could potentially make the move to tight end much like Bennett did with moving from running backs to receivers. McAdoo could even coach both units, especially if he gets the help from Edgar Bennett or offensive line coach James Campen.
It could also help the Packers from a salary standpoint if they are able to have one of the coaches work two different positions, so they don't have to hire a new coach.
This has been done in the NFL before, and McAdoo, who has also garnered some interest around the league, could be a good option to do so.
Quarterbacks Coach: Alex Van Pelt
Alex Van Pelt was the quarterbacks coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and while Tampa Bay had a difficult year, Van Pelt could be one of the more sought-after coaches in the staff, since the quarterback he has helped develop, Josh Freeman, has shown much promise in the NFL, despite a rough season this year.
Van Pelt started coaching Freeman in the 2010 season, when Freeman was in his second year and had a tremendous season, leading the previously 3-13 team to a 10-6 record. And while he showed signs of regression this year, this may point more towards the lack of weapons around him and a team that faced a more difficult schedule this year rather than last year.
Van Pelt may not be a big name, and it's unclear how successful of a coach he will be in the NFL, but he has had some successes coaching quarterbacks, and the Packers can afford to take a gamble, as they already have a developed quarterback in Aaron Rodgers at the helm.
Linebackers Coach: Jack Del Rio
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This is more of a long-shot pick, but Del Rio, who played linebacker when he was a player, could be the replacement for Winston Moss, the inside linebacker coach that has gained interest elsewhere.
The Jacksonville Jaguars were never able to get over the hump with Del Rio as a head coach, but he always had a solid defense, and knew how to scout and develop talent.
There are many coaches who weren't able to get it done as a head coach, but were fantastic coordinators, and Del Rio could be one of them, especially if Ted Thompson is able to help him put together a talented linebacking corps for 2012.